Chapter 11: Line, Knots, Zen and the Art of Tapering - Randall Bonner

Posted by Susan Carter on

There are many sacred bonds that hold together tapers and terminal tackle in holy matrimony. Not all of these connections will hold up to adversity, but there’s a few things to know before tying the knot. First, you have to understand how each line behaves differently.

Braid is most often used as a mainline. It is limp, meaning it’s more likely to tangle and cause tip-wrap. It’s not as easily damaged from friction when cinching down knots like monofilament or flourocarbon, but it’s limp natured construction makes it more susceptible to nightmarish backlashes, wind knots, and line twist. The fibers will eventually fray with prolonged use, and the line will become more delicate and susceptible to breaking. While the lack of stretch maximizes sensitivity, the texture and diameter cause a significant amount of drag when submerged. Although most braids are manufactured with a coating, it eventually wears off. Using a fly line dressing will renew the floating quality of braid, and helps prevent the guides on the rod from freezing on colder days. Braid is ideal for float fishing, allowing the angler to mend easier. While it’s low stretch sensitivity lends itself to drift fishing, breaking off a section of braid in a fishing hole can be a little upsetting to other anglers. Hooks don’t become embedded in monofilament, but the point of a hook can penetrate braid. Braid left in the river can potentially create an annoying snag hazard in the middle of a popular drift. Monofilament bumpers can prevent this issue, as well as being useful in lots of other applications, but more on that later.


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